Selection Training Week 1, Eyes Wide Open

Selection PT performance training

This first week was spent:

  • Wrapping my head around my decision to take on GORUCK Selection
  • Compiling some semblance of a plan
  • Connecting and communicating with cadre, past selection candidates, and actual Special Forces soldiers

Selection PT performance training

Nailing physical training performance standards

Last Selection class start with 83 candidates, and 52 failed the initial PT (physical training) performance standard testing, and thus were sent home, BEFORE the Selection event even started.

This left only 31 Selection candidates.

I will not be that person.

The minimum standard is 55 strict push-ups in 2:00, 65 strict sit-ups in 2:00, a 5-mile run in under 40:00 (7:59/miles), and 3:30:00 45 lb, ruck run.

But, its been pounded into my head, “don’t even think of showing up to selection with only the performance standard in the bank.” Instead, be ready with 80 push-ups, and 100 sit-ups, and a 34:00 5-miler.

I need a plan.

The beginnings of a plan

First, I am lacking incredibly in the ability to knock-out the necessary, STRICT, push-ups and sit-ups. To the right, in the top right rail of this page, I will keep a log of every time I shoot for testing, usually going to be once a week., or 10 days, or so.

The goal: 100 push-ups, 110 sit-ups.

In the meantime, I will be following the Navy Seals BUD/S Training Guide.

As supplementary training, I will continue functional training activities and sports designed to make me a better bodyweight athlete as I have a slew of challenging goals for 2015 such as Catamount games (Jan.), Survival Race Nicaragua (Feb.) and American Ninja Warrior (May). This includes:

  • Indoor rock-climbing
  • Obstacle course racing
  • Ninja obstacle training
  • Bar movements, and gymnastics
  • Some weight training – perhaps some CrossFit, but not sure, yet.

CrossFit simply requires too much recovery since all WODs are performed at max effort. My initial thoughts are that, while I love the methodology for GPP (general physical preparedness), it’s simply not specialized enough for my current goals. That may change…

My biggest nemesis, my bodyweight.

What do you think about this training focus?

Am I on the right track?

Would you do it differently?


Christian Griffith

Christian Griffith is one of the Co-Founders of ORM. He can also now be found working with GORUCK as the SVP, Marketing.

Latest posts by Christian Griffith (see all)

  1. Don’t drop body weight! You’re a big, strong, burly dude. Why do us bigger guys catch so many people in the final stages of an ultra? Little dudes run outta gas and start to putter….the bigger guys can fall back on pure strength. Be a lion.

  2. Check out They have excellenct training plans. They are pros at preparing people for events and specialize in military plans and even have a specific plan for GORUCK selection. Do guess at is as you are. Consult a professional. And good luck brother. That’s a hell of a goal!

    1. Thanks John – I have reached out to some military specialists close to me from varying disciplines – from colonels (Doom, where ya at?) in the ultra community, to young guys still fighting the fight for us everyday. Quite honestly, I’m stubborn, focused, and strong. I will get to where I need to get with the PT. My weakness will be the mental when I’m at low points – something I will work on next weekend as I tackle the Chimera 100-mile race deep in the Cleveland National Forest outside LA. It’s one of the toughest, and I like ’em tough. Check it out –

  3. This series is great Christian! Kudos to you for putting yourself out there for the world to see and follow. Looking forward to seeing how you progress and eventually following you in the event. I think this says a lot about your commitment to the event.

    Once you do reach your fitness goals, how do you plan to keep yourself motivated to stay there?

    1. Hi Paul: Honestly, the level of fitness I expect to achieve will not be sustainable indefinitely; however, I do expect that it will build upon my overall foundation for the long-term. At 44 years old, I am very aware that it takes considerably more and more quality (not quantity) training to continue to fight off father time, and continue to play with you whippersnappers …even if at more moderate competitive levels.

  4. This blog is a distraction from your training. Delete this, get off facebook and anything else. You know what the standard is and it wont change. Train hard and eliminate all other distractions.

    1. Hi Jeff: Thanks for your feedback. While, as a communications professional, I can’t completely follow your lead on these suggestions, point well-taken. Nose to the grindstone, brutha’.

  5. I would argue that body weight isn’t your problem, strength is. Building strength will also make you more durable and more able to withstand the wear and tear your body will face. I would continue to CrossFit a few times a week– but handpick the WODs that will best prepare you… longer endurance or body weight or EMOMs. I also see that you didn’t mention nutrition and sleep– don’t forget these vital aspects of your training! They are the key to your recovery.

    1. Hi Amy – thank you so much for chiming in. As the weeks progress, I will talk more about nutrition, rest, and recovery. Truth be told, and those athletes in the community (be that ultra-running, strength-training, OCR, or even surfing) that know me well, know that I am a pretty crappy recovery guy. Having you reiterate this point is very helpful, and continues the illustrate the value of community.

      With regards to strength, that always seems like a nebulous thing – meaning – what is strength? What is enough strength? And especially as it relates to this kind of event. I would argue its “stamina,” more than raw strength, in which I seek to maximize. Raw strength, in terms of power, will only carry me so far. Keep it coming. I’m taking it all in, and appreciate the feedback from the community as it helps me sort through my own intentions.

  6. Talk to those that finished and those that didn’t. Fix points of injury, improve flexibility, ruck a LOT and don’t listen as much to those that haven’t been in the ring before.

    1. @Mark: it’s an honor brother. We have spoken a few times via social media, and I have had many run-ins with people who find us of similar ilk – although, I’m not sure I could have taken to the challenges you recently have with the same intense positivity – huge respect. Thank you for the advice, and I am doing just that. Anytime, you want to reach out with guidance, know I’m all ears.

  7. Christian, You’ve made no mention of rucking.
    The SEAL/SWCC Training Guide does not address this cornerstone of all GORUCK events. Repurpose your training time to include a Heavy, a Challenge+Light, and an HCL. Periodize your year with no more than 2 “A” events (a 100 mile race is one) and shoot to peak at Selection. Stew Smith has good insight into a ruck program( stew ). Use FB to communicate w/ GRTs who have completed Selection on the GRS TRAINING page. Good Luck.

    1. Hi John – over the next few weeks, I will talk about this obvious and important aspect of training as well. I just used this particular post to focus on the PT standard. I recently ordered a new 1-person tent and cold weather sleeping bag for some serious rucking training up in the mountains of the Appalachian Trail. It’s a very rugged place to train, and I know it well from my ultrarunning training. I have done one Challenge, and I’ll be honest, I performed mediocre at best vs. myself and my own demons, so I need to get back out there. Thank you for the website source (looking now) and for your encouragement and insight.

  8. I’ll echo both the recommendation for and the comment about strength. Talking to people in the military isn’t equivalent to; the site sells training programs for different things including Goruck Selection. I’ve bought it and it is a solid program (my gating factor is running speed).
    If you haven’t gone back and read the AARs from past Selection you are going to miss important details like: The Long Walk where you are doing rucking with somewhere in the range of 100lbs on your back for 30+ miles.
    It is an endurance event but not like others you might be familiar with. The running and situps and pushups are the _start_ then you get to spend 48 hours doing calisthenics in cold (or miserably hot), wet, dirty places while carrying waaaay too much heavy stuff in awkward ways.
    Don’t get a tent and a sleeping bag. Go out and ruck and when everyone else is lying down to go to sleep, submerge yourself and your gear in water, roll in the mud and then keep going.
    If your demons were a problem for a Challenge think about how you’ll do with the cadre actively trying to get you to quit and looking for any sign of weakness to pounce on it.

    1. @Toby: thank you, brother. Great comments and suggestions. As different individuals, such as yourself, share great links like this, I am going to share in a resource area. Thanks again, and I really appreciate the straight-up, no BS, communication. I’m not looking for coddling. I’m looking for success.

  9. Your body weight has nothing to do with it. Many have quit under 200 lbs and a few passed over 200 lbs. Strength is important but to what extent? You want to prolong the inevitable body breakdown as long as you can and that is what you prepare for. Then the only real question is, will your mind quit as well and will your body withstand the abuse it will receive?
    I can assure you that there have been some extremely well prepared (physically fit) individuals that quit.
    All you can do is train the best you can, and show up and do it. You will not know until you do.

    1. @”handsome(r)” Mark: good comment, and I agree as I alluded to in a previous comment response. Stamina, to me, seems to be a an excellent modality for which to focus. Thank you for commenting.

  10. Hey brother,
    Check out Joel Jamieson’s site 8 weeks out and his book Ultimate MMA Conditioning. While geared in name to fighters, it is widely recognized as the best conditioning guide out there today, for any pursuit. As a fellow GRT and acquaintance of a number of Selection finishers, I can tell you what they have told me, that on the physical side conditioning (and your ability to recover quickly) is what will make the difference. It is the accumulation of fatigue that is the difference maker.

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